July 2013
Volume 13, Issue 9
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2013
Neuronal integration in visual cortex elevates face category tuning to conscious face perception
Author Affiliations
  • Johannes Fahrenfort
    Brain and Cognition, Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam\nCognitive Science Center Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam
  • Tineke Snijders
    Helmholtz Institute, Department of Experimental Psychology, Utrecht University\nRudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University Medical Centre Utrecht
  • Klaartje Heinen
    University College London Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London
  • Simon van Gaal
    Brain and Cognition, Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam\nCognitive Science Center Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam
  • Steven Scholte
    Brain and Cognition, Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam\nCognitive Science Center Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam
  • Victor Lamme
    Brain and Cognition, Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam\nCognitive Science Center Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam
Journal of Vision July 2013, Vol.13, 1033. doi:10.1167/13.9.1033
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      Johannes Fahrenfort, Tineke Snijders, Klaartje Heinen, Simon van Gaal, Steven Scholte, Victor Lamme; Neuronal integration in visual cortex elevates face category tuning to conscious face perception. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):1033. doi: 10.1167/13.9.1033.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

The human brain has the extraordinary capability to transform cluttered sensory input into distinct object representations. For example, it is able to rapidly and seemingly without effort detect object categories in complex natural scenes. Surprisingly, category tuning is not sufficient to achieve conscious recognition of objects. So what neural process beyond category extraction might elevate neural representations to the level where objects are consciously perceived? Here we show that visible and invisible faces produce similar category-selective responses in the ventral visual cortex. The pattern of neural activity evoked by visible faces could be used to decode the presence of invisible faces and vice versa. However, only visible faces caused extensive response enhancements and changes in neural oscillatory synchronization, as well as increased functional connectivity between higher and lower visual areas. We conclude that conscious face perception is more tightly linked to neural processes of sustained information integration and binding than to processes accommodating face category tuning.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013

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